Monday, April 19, 2010

Sikorsky, Lockheed team to bid for US helicopter

Lockheed Martin

* Lockheed sees possible US Navy award in 2011 or 2012

* Teaming deal follows rival bids for last helicopter

* Lockheed still negotiating termination of VH-71 with Navy

By Andrea Shalal-Esa

Defense News: WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) - Former rivals Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) said they would join forces in a follow-on U.S. Navy presidential helicopter competition even as Lockheed continued to negotiate a settlement over termination of the previous program.

Under the teaming agreement, Sikorsky, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) and maker of the current fleet of presidential helicopters since 1957, will offer its H-92 medium-lift helicopter, while Lockheed will supply the major subsystems and integrate the mission systems package.

In a joint statement the companies said they had outlined their plans in a response to the U.S. Navy's request for information, a precursor to a formal follow-on competition.

Dan Spoor, vice president of aviation systems for Lockheed's mission systems and sensors division, told Reuters he did not expect a Navy contract award until 2011 or 2012 after it completes a new analysis of alternatives.

He said Lockheed was continuing to negotiate a termination agreement with the Navy for the previous VH-71 presidential helicopter program, which it had run together with AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica SpA (SIFI.MI).

The Pentagon terminated its contract with Lockheed in 2009 after the team delivered nine test and pilot production aircraft based on AgustaWestland's EH101 helicopter.

Rob Stallard, analyst with Macquarie Securities, said potential other bidders for the Navy contract could include Boeing Co (BA.N), Textron Inc's (TXT.N) Bell Helicopter unit and Finmeccanica's AgustaWestland.

Spoor said Lockheed was no longer marketing AgustaWestland's 101-based helicopter in the United States, but continued to work together with the company in Britain.

He said it could still take a couple of years to reach a termination settlement with the Navy, given the complexity of the program and the number of aircraft and other inventory involved.

Navy officials told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee last week that they expected to receive a termination proposal from Lockheed in late fiscal year 2010 and reach a settlement in fiscal year 2011, which begins on Oct. 1.

Lockheed decided to pursue an agreement with Sikorsky, which had bid for and lost the previous contract, once the Navy decided it wanted a helicopter manufacturer to be the prime contractor for the new helicopter contract, Spoor said.

But he said the companies had worked together closely for four decades on several Navy helicopter programs, and it made sense to work together now given Sikorsky's experience with the existing fleet and Lockheed's intimate knowledge of the White House's needs and requirements through the VH-71 contract.

He said Sikorsky's H-92 helicopter was a bit smaller than the 101, but said Sikorsky had made "tremendous progress" on the relatively new helicopter and it was doing well in sea trials for Canada.

In a statement, Scott Starrett, president of Sikorsky Military Systems, also highlighted the two companies' previous work together and said they offered the Navy "a proven and formidable track record as a team."

Sikorsky designed-and-built the VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft -- designated "Marine One" when the president is on board -- that have been transporting the president since the 1960s.

Sikorsky and Lockheed also agreed to explore business opportunities involving other Sikorsky programs. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

General Dynamics Appoints Helm as Senior Vice President of Planning and Development

Defense News:
FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- General Dynamics (NYSE:GD - News) announced today that Robert W. Helm will join the company on May 3 as senior vice president of planning and development, reporting to Jay L. Johnson, president and chief executive officer. In this position, Helm will be responsible for Government Relations, Strategic Planning, International Business Analysis and Compliance, Investor Relations and Communications. He will replace Phebe N. Novakovic, who has been appointed executive vice president of the company's Marine Systems group, effective May 1.

Helm was with Northrop Grumman Corporation for 21 years, most recently serving as corporate vice president for Government Relations. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, he was vice president of business development, Space and Aviation Systems, with Honeywell Inc. Helm served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Controller) from 1984 until 1988. He was a White House staff member on the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and also served as the senior national security professional staff member on the Senate Budget Committee in the U.S. Congress.

Helm and his wife, Sandra, reside in McLean, Va.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 91,700 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at

Related Headlines

Enigma to Exhibit at MRO Americas Conference

Participating with Oracle in Booth #101

April 20, 2010

Phoenix, AZ

Defense News: BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enigma Inc., the leader in aftermarket service and support technology, will be exhibiting with Oracle® at the MRO Americas Conference and Exhibition on April 20, 2010 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. The event will bring together aviation industry leaders from around the world to discuss issues relating to aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul.

At the conference, Enigma will demonstrate advanced solutions in the Oracle exhibition booth (#101), featuring a joint solution with the Oracle Complex MRO (cMRO) application for maintenance planning, engineering and service. The combination of Enigma InService MRO with Oracle cMRO provides maintenance planners and technicians complete, accurate and timely information at every phase of the MRO process. Specifically designed for servicing airline, aerospace and defense equipment, the Enigma-Oracle solution helps decrease maintenance turn times, increase asset availability and improve regulatory compliance.

Enigma will also be demonstrating Enigma InService Job Card Generator and Revision Manager, which streamline the process of reviewing/approving OEM and engineering maintenance changes and incorporating those revisions into ongoing maintenance plans.

Enigma has helped airlines like Japan+Airlines&index=5&md5=49dbe8f206d33d41c5bc0c7299203ae2">JapanAirlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to decrease maintenance costs, increase equipment uptime, and improve maintenance efficiency and consistency.

Quote attributable to Jonathan Yaron, president and CEO of Enigma, Inc.:

“Enigma’s technology improves all aspects of aircraft maintenance, from technical publications to digital sign-offs on job cards Enigma has helped numerous airlines and aviation shops realize substantial gains in efficiency and cost reduction.”

Links for more information:

About Jonathan Yaron

About Enigma-Oracle cMRO

Download the Enigma-Oracle cMRO fact sheet

About Enigma

Enigma is the only software company delivering a product suite that improves the efficiency, consistency and profitability of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations and aftermarket sales and service organizations. Enigma’s unique products integrate with product lifecycle management, supply chain management, enterprise resource planning and other enterprise applications to provide a dynamic encyclopedia of service, parts and diagnostic information that captures technicians’ expertise and manages an optimal service and support workflow. By facilitating aftermarket maintenance, parts logistics and equipment uptime, Enigma helps service and support organizations maximize their profitability. For more information, visit and

Enigma 3C is a registered trademark of Enigma. All other trademarks or trade names belong to their respective owners

Technorati Tags: Aftermarket Service MRO Aircraft Maintenance

Aviation Maintenance MRO software


Enigma, Inc.
Joy Reo, 781-265-3606

Orbital Set to Launch First Minotaur IV Rocket for U.S. Air Force This Week

-- Suborbital Launch of Peacekeeper-Based Rocket to Support DARPA’s
HTV-2 Hypersonic Research Mission --

Defense News:
DULLES, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB - News), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it is prepared to launch the first of its Minotaur IV rockets in support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 (HTV-2) program. The Minotaur IV launch vehicle is based on decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors that Orbital integrates and upgrades with modern avionics and other subsystems to produce a cost-effective booster based on flight-proven hardware. Subject to final preparations and favorable weather conditions, the mission will originate from Space Launch Complex-8 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, with its first available launch window from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PST) tomorrow, April 20, 2010.

For the HTV-2 mission, Orbital will fly a three-stage Minotaur IV “Lite” version of the rocket to carry out the suborbital flight trajectory. The Minotaur IV will propel the HTV-2 air vehicle into the upper atmosphere, where it will be released. The HTV-2 will then descend at hypersonic speed into the Pacific Ocean near Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The Minotaur IV rocket is the newest in the Minotaur family of launchers that Orbital produces for the U.S. Air Force under the Orbital/Suborbital Program-2 contract. The first orbital mission of the Minotaur IV will take place later this year when it launches the Air Force’s Space Base Space Surveillance (SBSS) satellite.

“The first flight of the Minotaur IV rocket ushers in an all-new capability for the Air Force and other U.S. Government customers at a time when reliable, cost-effective missions are at a premium,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “Building on the outstanding record of the 16 previous flights of the Minotaur family, all of which have been successful, we are excited to begin flying the Minotaur IV rocket for our Air Force customer.”

The debut of Minotaur IV begins a series of launch vehicle system introductions that will highlight Orbital’s position as the most active current developer of new rocket systems in the world. Beginning with Minotaur IV, Orbital is scheduled to complete the development and carry out the first flights of five new space and strategic launch systems in the next two and a half years.

The four other launch vehicles are the Launch Abort System for NASA’s Orion program, the two-stage interceptor booster for the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, the Taurus II medium-class space launch vehicle for NASA and other customers, and the Air Force’s Minotaur V rocket that is scheduled to launch NASA’s LADEE lunar mission in 2012.

Mr. Grabe also stated, “With the introduction of several new space launch vehicles in the next couple of years, combined with our heritage Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur vehicles, Orbital will offer its defense and intelligence, civil government and commercial satellite customers the world’s most complete and proven line of launchers for small- and medium-class satellites weighing up to 12,000 lbs.”

About the HTV-2 Mission

DARPA’s HTV-2 program objective is to create new technological options that enable capabilities that urgently address threats to U.S. national security. The program is developing and testing an unmanned, rocket-launched, maneuverable, hypersonic air vehicle that glides through the Earth’s atmosphere, at speeds of Mach 20 and above. The key technical challenges of the HTV-2 program are the design of an innovative high lift-to-drag aerodynamic shape, advanced lightweight but tough thermal protection structures, materials and fabrication technologies, autonomous hypersonic navigation guidance and control systems, and an autonomous flight safety system.

About Minotaur IV

The Minotaur IV space launch vehicle leverages the flight-proven heritage of Orbital’s Minotaur I, Pegasus and Taurus space launch vehicles to provide a reliable, capable and cost-effective space launcher. Minotaur IV utilizes three government-furnished solid rocket motors from decommissioned Peacekeeper ICBMs and a commercial solid rocket upper stage. Minotaur IV builds on a long heritage of launch systems with over 50 flights of each core stage and is capable of launching payloads up to 3,800 lbs. (1,730 kgs.) to low Earth orbit.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at

Note to Editors: High-resolution images of the Minotaur IV rocker can be found at:

ATK Will Webcast Conference Call on its Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 Financial Results

Defense News:
MINNEAPOLIS, April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ATK (Alliant Techsystems, NYSE: ATK) will webcast its investor conference call on fiscal year 2010 fourth quarter financial results, which will be announced May 6, prior to the opening of the market. In addition to discussion of the quarterly results, the Company may discuss its outlook and financial guidance for future periods during the call. Conference call details are as follows:

This call is being webcast by CCBN and can be accessed at ATK's web site at, Investor Relations; Investor Information; Webcasts. Information about downloading Windows Media Player software, which is required to access the webcast, will be available on the website.


10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, May 6, 2010.


Mark DeYoung, President and Chief Executive Officer

John Shroyer, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Jeff Huebschen, Director Investor Relations

Telephone recording: For those who cannot participate in the live webcast, a telephone recording of the conference call will be available. The telephone number is 719-457-0820, and the confirmation code is 5524489. The recording will be available for one month after the call.

Institutional investors can access the call via CCBN's password-protected event management site, StreetEvents (

ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among these factors are: assumptions related to the Ares I and Ares V programs for NASA; changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company's competitive environment; risks inherent in the development and manufacture of advanced technology; increases in commodity costs, energy prices, and production costs; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; program performance; program terminations; changes in cost estimates related to relocation of facilities; the outcome of contingencies, including litigation and environmental remediation; actual pension asset returns and assumptions regarding future returns, discount rates and service costs; capital market volatility and corresponding assumptions related to the company's shares outstanding; the availability of capital market financing; changes to accounting standards; changes in tax rules or pronouncements; economic conditions; and the company's capital deployment strategy, including debt repayment, share repurchases, pension funding, mergers and acquisitions and any integration thereof. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact Information:

Bryce Hallowell (Media)

Jeff Huebschen (Investor Relations)

Phone: 952-351-3087

Phone: 952-351-2929